Terps women make mark

Frese brings in another top recruiting class with Strickland, 4 others

College basketball

November 10, 2006|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun reporter

The Maryland women's basketball team reaped a significant recruiting harvest, signing a class of five high school seniors with the beginning of the November signing period that will begin play in College Park next fall.

Headlined by Towson Catholic guard Marah Strickland, The Sun's Female Player of the Year for 2005-06, the recruiting class marks the third time in the past four years that Maryland coach Brenda Frese has signed a top five collection of players.

Four of the five players signed by Frese are ranked among the country's top 20 players, regardless of position, according to a statement released by the school. The overall class is ranked first in the nation by All-Star Girls Report, a women's basketball-centered publication, while scout.com, a high school recruiting Web site, rates Maryland's class No. 4, behind Tennessee, Duke and Stanford.

"Each one of these players comes from a winning background and as we have gotten to know them and their families through the recruiting process, we know we are bringing in great people, as well," Frese said in a statement.

Besides Strickland, Maryland signed Anjale Barrett, a 5-foot-9 point guard from New York, and the younger sister of Chicago Bulls reserve guard Andre Barrett; Drey Mingo, a 6-2 center from Atlanta; Katheryn Lyons, a 5-10 guard from Kernersville, N.C.; and Kim Rodgers, a 5-9 guard from Virginia Beach, Va.

Although some might consider the signing of this class the fruits of winning the national championship last spring, the coaching staff began recruiting these players well before that.

However, Frese has said that winning the title has allowed the program entry into places that she could not have gotten into before, and has made Maryland's recruiting national in scope.

The Maryland men's basketball team received signed letters of intent yesterday from two local standouts. Mount St. Joseph forward Dino Gregory and Calvert Hall center Braxton Dupree both officially committed to join the Terps next year.

"Baltimore has always been an important area for us in recruiting," said Maryland coach Gary Williams in a statement.

Gregory averaged 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots per game as a junior, leading the Gaels to a 38-1 record. Dupree, the No. 13-ranked center in the country by Rivals.com, chose Maryland over Clemson, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The previous Calvert Hall player to sign with Maryland was Juan Dixon.

The early-signing period runs through Wednesday, and Maryland is expected to add more players to the class of 2007.

Also, locally, Towson signed Tony Durant, a 6-8, 225-pound left-handed forward from Butler County College in Kansas via Forestville. Durant, a sophomore, is expected to help replace seniors Dennard Abraham and Winstonn Tubbs up front.

Isaac Reid, a 6-5 forward from Angleton, Texas, signed with Loyola and is expected to contribute at both forward positions and the post for the Greyhounds next year. Last season, he averaged 10.5 points and 13 rebounds.

milton.kent@baltsun.com

Sun reporters Heather A. Dinich and Christian Ewell contributed to this article.

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